Snacks can help children get the nutrients needed to grow. Snacks should try to include 2 different food groups. Older children can learn healthy habits by making their own snacks with healthy food options in the kitchen. The USDA has composed a list of snack tips and tricks to help parents make snacking worthwhile and nutritious for their children.
1 SAVE TIME BY SLICING VEGGIES - Keep sliced veggies in the fridge. This makes them more accessible and appealing to children when searching for a quick snack.
2 MIX IT UP - Have kids create their own trail mix with nuts and dried fruit. Smoothies are also a fun way to "mix things up" put fat-free yogurt, 100% fruit juice and frozen fruit in a blender and create a tasty treat!
3 GRAB A GLASS OF MILK - Milk is loaded with vitamins and calcium. Try drinking your snack!
4 GO FOR GREAT WHOLE GRAINS - Offer snacks high in fiber and whole grains and low in sugar and fat, such as; whole-wheat bread, popcorn, whole-oat cereals.
5 SNACK ON PROTEIN FOODS - Protein foods are great snack options, consider low-sodium nuts, peanut butter, cheese, hummas and seeds for your next snack!
6 KEEP AN EYE ON THE SIZE - Snacks aren't meant to replace a meal. Try to keep snack size bowls and bags on hand to help teach your kids what "enough" means.
7 FRUITS ARE QUICK AND EASY - Fresh, frozen canned or dried fruits are great options. They require little to no prep work or mess. Try applesauce, frozen grapes, or raisins.
8 CONSIDER CONVENIENCE - single serving containers of yogurt or string cheese are perfect to teach serving sizes, and quick and easy for on-the-go.
9 SWAP OUT THE SUGAR - Keep healthier foods on hand, kids won't snack on junk food if there isn't junk food in the cupboard. Make healthy foods convenient and accessible.
10 PREPARE HOMEMADE GOODIES - For homemade sweets add dried fruits such as raisins, crasins or apricots to the recipe. Lower the amount of sugar called for and substitute unsweetened applesauce for butter and shortening.
Try one of these suggestions for your next snack!